Alexander the Great: The Story of an Ancient Life

Overview

Everything we know about Alexander comes from ancient sources, which agree unanimously that he was extraordinary and greater than everyday mortals. From his birth into a hypercompetitive world of royal women through his training under the eyes and fists of stern soldiers and the piercing intellect of Aristotle; through friendships, rivalries, conquests and negotiations; through acts of generosity and acts of murder, this book explains who Alexander was, what motivated him, where he succeeded (in his own eyes) and...
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Alexander the Great

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Overview

Everything we know about Alexander comes from ancient sources, which agree unanimously that he was extraordinary and greater than everyday mortals. From his birth into a hypercompetitive world of royal women through his training under the eyes and fists of stern soldiers and the piercing intellect of Aristotle; through friendships, rivalries, conquests and negotiations; through acts of generosity and acts of murder, this book explains who Alexander was, what motivated him, where he succeeded (in his own eyes) and where he failed, and how he believed that he earned a new “mixed” nature combining the human and the divine. This book explains what made Alexander “Great” according to the people and expectations of his time and place and rejects modern judgments asserted on the basis of an implicit moral superiority to antiquity.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Advance Praise: “An elegant, accessible, and thoughtful introduction to the life of one of history’s most important and most controversial figures. Bravo to Blackwell and Martin, for bringing so much scholarship to bear and for wearing it so lightly.” – Barry Strauss, Cornell University

“Blackwell and Martin have produced a wonderful new view of one of the most fascinating figures from the historical record. Their clear, lively narrative style allows them not only to bring Alexander and his world to life but to integrate a great deal of critical analysis with a very light touch. This is a must- read for anyone interested in Alexander the Great, and every instructor covering Alexander in class should start with this new book.” – Gregory Crane, Tufts University

“Very few political leaders in history have been called ‘“great’”: the challenging biography of Alexander written by Martin and Blackwell delineates the universe of values, ideals, and dreams of the greatest – according to Napoleon Bonaparte – of the greats. Especially addressed to general readers, but also very stimulating for specialists.” – Prof. Virgilio Costa, University of Rome Tor Vergata

"well edited................the authors have told an interesting tale and one whose argument provides an interesting foil to the bulk of contemporary Alexander scholarship." --BMCR

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521767484
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2012
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas R. Martin is the Jeremiah W. O'Connor, Jr Professor in Classics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the author of Ancient Greece and (with Ivy Sui-yuen) Herodotus and Sima Qian.

Christopher W. Blackwell is the Louis G. Forgione University Professor of Classics at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He is the author of In the Absence of Alexander: Harpalus and the Failure of Macedonian Authority and (with Amy Hackney Blackwell) Mythology for Dummies.

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Table of Contents

1. The world of Alexander's birth and his education in literature and warfare (350s and 340s BC); 2. Opportunities and risks as a teenager (340s to 338 BC); 3. The danger in replacing a murdered father as king (337 to 335 BC); 4. The opening battles against the Persian army (334 to 332 BC); 5. Finding god in Egypt and capturing the riches of Persia (332 to 330 BC); 6. Winning the world as king of Asia (330 to 329 BC); 7. Murder, marriage, and mixing customs in Afghanistan (329 to 327 BC); 8. Victory and frustration in India (327 to 326 BC); 9. Returning to Babylon and becoming divine (326 to 323 BC); 10. Remembering and judging Alexander (323 BC to now).
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